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World's Best Candle

This brand is the best... seriously. Goodbye Yankee, Hello Slatkin. 

Thank you, Bath and Body Works, for making my seasons a little more fragrant. 


Baby Bedding

I now own 3 (yes, 3) crib bumpers (a little excessive... and yes, I know some people think bumpers are a safety concern, but they also seem like a decorating necessity!).

Bumper #1 was purchased close to a year ago. As I was perusing Target one day, I noticed they were clearancing out some of their DwellStudio lines of crib bedding. I couldn't help myself... can you blame me? Ticking stripes and polka dots in a gender neutral color- how could I not?

Saturday, I went to the Land of Nod outlet and found this beauty... I've loved this pattern for the last couple of years. At the regular store, it retails for $90- at the outlet, $10. Normally, the discounts aren't this significant, but they were trying to get rid of their crib bumpers and a whole section of "defective" bumpers and quilts were $10. This one was used and returned, but it's in perfect condition. 

They even had this quilt- it isn't the one that is supposed to go with this set, but I had to get it anyway. It was also used and returned because the colors bled a little... when I got home, I washed it and it's perfect... no bleeding colors (wash in cold water, people!). I am not a cutesy person at all, and I think this quilt falls safely in the "cute", but not "cutesy" category. And, I'm envisioning possible teaching opportunities- colors, animals, etc.

We're not going to have a safari-themed nursery, but I'm sure this will still come in handy- I even tested it out on Don while he was sleeping on Sunday. He looked cute under it, but I think it will look even better (and more appropriate) with a baby!

And who or what is this little guy... I don't know, but I love him. 

So, I originally picked up only the one bumper and quilt thinking that bumper #1 would match bumper #2 in case of twins... about 10 minutes away from the store I panicked and thought they might not match and that I should probably get another matching bumper. Plus, for $10 I might forever regret not getting it (okay, probably not forever, but at least for awhile). I made a quick u-turn and headed back to the store. 

I found bumper #3 and headed home. A little neurotic? Yes. Will I be prepared for twins (or even triplets)? Absolutely. 


Dinner and a Movie

This post probably doesn't require much explanation... the pictures say it all.

Saturday night= deep dish pizza from Lou Malnati's...

Accompanied by a glass of Schweppes on the rocks... oh, how I love you, Schweppes.  

Finished off with some homemade caramel corn for dessert...

You start with the air-popped popcorn, then mix in the caramel sauce (brown sugar, butter, and corn syrup- add vanilla and baking soda after the mix has boiled for 5 minutes)...

Bake for an hour, stirring every 15 minutes, and voila! Notice how I left in the un-popped kernels? That was a lazy mistake... you should sift those out before adding in the sauce- if you don't, your teeth will pay for it later.

If you want the exact measurements for the recipe, click here... you'll see I left out the peanuts. It's just the way we are.

After this, we tried for a second time to watch a movie we rented awhile back... the first time we both fell asleep within the first 20 minutes. Last night we made it for about the first hour before falling asleep. Either we're constantly tired or it's a boring movie... or probably both. 

As for these guys... their turn is coming- stay tuned!




I love all of the different seasons... but fall has to be my favorite. I love breaking out the fleece coats, having fires at night, cooking in the crockpot, drinking pumpkin spice lattes, and all of those other things that just feel more appropriate in fall.

This past weekend, we were up in Michigan for a very short trip to pick up some more of our adoption t-shirts, celebrate my brother's birthday, and stop at our favorite apple orchard.

I may be biased, but I think this is the best orchard in all of southwest Michigan, not to mention the best orchard within 3 hours of Chicago. Trust me... we've been to some orchards around here- way too commercialized. 

Isn't it amazing that fruit just grows perfectly on these trees?!

Sweet and ready to eat... right from the branch.

Some nice lady offered to take a picture for us...

Don's the photographer in our family, and he's always snapping when I'm not looking. Do you see all of the rows and rows of apple trees that you can just meander through and pick what you want?! I love that. Seriously, we went to an orchard in a nearby town (that I won't mention), and we were first greeted by Reggae music blaring from a mysterious looking Tiki hut, then we were told that we had to get on a wagon and ride for about 10-15 minutes out to the orchards where we could fill our $20 bag (which we had to purchase from them) with as many apples as we wanted. Just out of principle, we had to leave without getting a single apple... we just couldn't do it- it's not the way apple picking is supposed to be! At Crane's, we got out of our car with our target bags, walked all over the orchards, and then weighed our bags when we were ready to leave... we got four full bags of apples for less than $20. Perfect. 

Making sure it looks just right...

We always cap off our apple-picking trip with some desserts from the bakery/restaurant. Apple dumpling ala mode.

Rhubarb and raspberry pie...

27lbs. of apples, a gallon of cider, and a half dozen cider doughnuts later (plus the above mentioned desserts), and we were happy and full- very full! 

I can't wait for this weekend to put some of those apples to good use... in an apple-cranberry crisp, served with vanilla ice cream and a cup of coffee (of course)!


We're Planning a Trip!

Okay, so we probably won't be traveling for at least a few months, but it's still fun to think about! In fact, today I bought my first little article of clothing for our child... if it ends up being twins, I'm going to have to rush out to find something coordinating. Yes, I will be that mother that puts her twins in matching outfits. How can you not?

So, here's the little sleep set I picked up... isn't it adorable?! It's a long sleeve top with matching bottoms. Can't you just picture a little diapered bum crawling around in this snug little outfit (by the way, I love the tight little jammies that hug the belly and diapered bums... I think this is going to be just perfect!).

In case you are wondering about the "tough guy" part, we do know that we'll probably at least get one little boy whether we have twins or not... we requested an infant boy or twins of either gender. The wait time for a boy is shorter than for a girl in Ethiopia, so that helped us with our decision. Plus, Don needs a fishing partner! Someone who isn't afraid of touching the worms...

Back to the original reason for this post... I stumbled upon a great video of Ethiopia. It's absolutely beautiful, and we can't wait to go there!


So Close...

Well, tomorrow we send off all of our papers... we spent this weekend certifying our last documents, making copies of the dossier, checking to make sure everything looks right and is in the right order, checking again, and checking again. I'd take a picture of the entire packet we're shipping off, but I'm too nervous about something happening to one of those precious little slips of paper! You'll just have to trust me that it is huge!

We also spent some concentrated time praying alone and together to ask God's blessing on this next phase of our adoption and this next phase of our lives.

Here's a snapshot of how we're feeling now...

  • We're so close to having our child/children! We're in the homestretch, and Lord-willing, by this time next year, we'll be holding our precious little baby/babies!
  • For God's constant care for us- it is so evident that He is orchestrating all of the details of our lives! We trust Him and we rest in His love and care for us!
  • For the support of so many of our family and friends. Many of you have prayed for us, donated money, bought t-shirts, and shared in our excitement. When we bring our child home, it will have been a community effort! Words cannot express our gratitude...
  • God's way of ordering our lives is better than we could choose for ourselves. We trust and rest in His sovereign will. We have absolutely no control over how long this next phase will take or which child we will get... but God knows. And He has known for all of eternity. All of the remaining details (along with everything else), are working exactly according to His perfect plan.   



We received our USCIS approval in the mail yesterday! Now, we head to the secretary of state to have a couple of documents certified and then everything will be sent to Washington D.C. to be approved by our agency and then on to Ethiopia.

Once this happens, we will receive our official "wait list" number! We're actually super excited about this next round of waiting... mainly because this time we'll be waiting for our child!